Spotting a Mind Control Cult

Important Note: When observing a group to determine whether they are practicing Mind Control, look for several or many of these practices together. Some practices such as "Deception" "Fear" "Intimidation" or "Personal Identity Replacement" are sign's of unhealthy control all by themselves. Most other's individually are undesirable, but they would not generally demonstrate a dangerous Mind Control organization.



A cult will often use forms of deception. They will often be very mysterious in defining what they believe, how they started, what they practice, and what life is really like in the group (cult). If people knew the truth they would not likely join. This information is taught to the new recruit slowly and in pieces, and direct or frequent questioning will be discouraged. An aura of secrecy will often help cover the deception.


A mind control cult will promote an "Us verses Them" environment. They will teach their members that their group is the only group in which you can be a "right person" or "saved". If you leave the cult then it is said you have "fallen away from Rightness or God." This is done to instill fear in the members which can be expressed like this: If you ever think of leaving this body of "true disciples" or do something which forces us to expel you from this body then you will be losing your salvation and God will hate you. There is nowhere else you can go and still be a "true disciple". This is a powerful control mechanism.
Exclusiveness is fear based control mechanism. Exclusiveness imposes false criteria on salvation or rightness- "If you do not join us and/or if you are not doing what we are doing you are a lost soul." This of course is a serious doctrinal error ingrained in the practice of the group. Remember, just because a group does not teach it officially does not mean they do not practice it.

Fear, Intimidation and Obeisance:

Leadership is to be feared or obeyed without question. To disagree with leadership is to disagree with "Universal Truth or God". When the leaders tell you to do something, you had better do it. Often intense breaking sessions are employed to put down any supposed rebellion or threat to the leadership. These sessions can involve many people at once attacking the character and motives of the target. Independent thought is a characteristic missing in cults.

Love Bombing:

Another mind control practice is love bombing or pseudo love. When you first join the cult you will gain instant friends, you'll be hugged and everyone will want to talk to you. For someone who is lonely or comes from out of town this is especially wonderful. However, after a while this "love" becomes conditional on your performance and/or you measuring up to the cult's unpublished standards. When you attempt to leave the cult you will discover that you will lose all of your new friends just as quickly as you gained them. We are each relational beings. Many with the ultimate aim of gaining a relationship with Our Source. It is because of this that "love bombing" can be so powerful.

Like any unhealthy relationship, love bombing is switched on and off in order to control behavior. We have all seen it at work in manipulative relationships and at work as peer pressure in schools and other social groups.

Information Control:

Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is forbidden or regarded as useless. Often, if it is opposing the cult, members are told not to read it or believe it. Only the cult-supplied information is true.

This technique is really a partner to deception. Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it, not of the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history, and the result is usually referred to as "propaganda".

Reporting Structure:

In a mind control cult like in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia you had to be careful of what you say or do; "The walls have ears." Everyone is encouraged to watch out for "struggling" brothers and report what they see to the leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence will find its way to leadership. Cult members are sometimes shocked to find their problems preached about in the cult meetings. People comment that while in a Mind Control cult they were acting, always being worried about people watching.

Loaded Language:

The cult will have their own language and "special terminology".

Harmless by itself, "loaded language" is used in all areas of life from the computer industry to orthodox religions. Every group or specialized-field develops its own words or meanings for words, and this is often called "jargon." However, when this language is used to persuade and confuse the truth, "loaded language" can take on a dangerous attribute.

Often this language can prevent people outside the group being able to engage in rational debate of what is being taught. This debate and other open conversations with members

are dangerous to the cult. Loaded language gives the members a sense of belonging; "Only they understand". It can also be used to initiate a phenomenon known as "thought stopping"; Where a simple word can stop any thoughts in the member's mind which are against the cult.

Time Control:

Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and eventually too tired to think about the rationale of their involvement. Due to this preoccupation, this becomes an effective tool for controlling people.

The flip side to this is that if a person can get out of the cult's "time control" schedule often after a few weeks, they can begin to contrast "normal" life with the controlled cult environment. This can, with trained help, assist the captured student to become liberated.

Relationship Control:

A mind control cult will seek to maneuver your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement. Cult members will be moved into cult communities or cult flats where they can be watched more closely and immersed in the cult environment. The cult must cut off any contact through which information or reminders of your past life will come.

Often the captured student cannot marry or date anyone outside of the cult and sometimes their spouse will be chosen for them. Controlling relationships is a powerful Mind Control method. Friends and family are important influences on our lives. By controlling those who we associate with and those who we respect, a Mind Control cult can influence a person towards becoming like those people who are "good" to be around.

Every parent knows that the peers their child associates with affects the child, moving them towards what the peers have as a norm. All people are affected by society and the groups to which they belong. By defining who is "good" and who is "bad" the Mind Control cult is attempting to move the subject towards the "group norm" that their group has. Often intense pressure is put on people to stay away from the "bad" people which are often friends, parents.

Personal Identity Replacement:

Three stages are involved; breaking, indoctrination and finally re-freezing. Fear and intimidation are used to break a person. Often the cult calls into question a person's self esteem or sanity, and in some cults a person is not truly broken until they are crying uncontrollably.
Next the cult indoctrinates the person by pumping them full of cult doctrine and systematically destroying anything which does not agree with the party line. If a person objects to anything, their sincerity, character and motives are questioned.
Finally the person is frozen into the cult member mold. They become like all the other cult members to a certain degree. Friends and family will complain that the cult member has become a different person. Often in the early stages the cult member will float between their true identity and their cult identity, but as their cult involvement continues their true identity becomes more and more repressed. This is why people in a Mind Control cult will often seem to think, act and sound the same, whereas in a normal health organization individual personalities are more evident.


Mind Control is a suite of practices Mind Control groups use to influence their members and potential recruits, a real attempt to control their minds. There is an enormous amount of evidence that certain groups are employing the Mind Control methods. The particular Control technique will fail or succeed to whatever degree depending on the many factors, and the naivete or susceptibility of its target. Mind Control is a morally wrong, and an unethical practice for any group.

Organizations that would promote personal, spiritual or social health and wellbeing should strongly oppose its use. Counter-cult groups should also oppose its use, labeling correctly any group which has been proven to use it as a "Mind Control cult".